Worcester, Mass. — Snowstorms caused slippery roads, sideways and accidents in Worcester on Sunday. Police were called in to more than 50 incidents, according to city police. An announced parking ban was put in place at 8:00 p.m. Sunday night to prevent residents from parking on the street.
“There’s not a lot of snow, but the first quarter of an inch of fall is very slick. With this snow, smaller events can cause problems because when you’re predicting a foot of snow, people are going off the road,” said Worcester DPW and Parks deputy commissioner said.
William A. Coyle is Deputy Commissioner of the Worcester Department of Public Works and Parks. Coyle told Boston 25 News, “For this particular event, we don’t have prep. We just finished the city’s leaf collection program and all our trucks need to be prep.” Holiday shoppers have a harder job, and drivers may stay off the road entirely.
Edy De’Oliveira of Worcester was one of the unlucky victims of a fender-bending accident on Franklin Street in Worcester at around 4.30pm on Sunday. Boston 25 News spoke with De’Oliveira, who waited nearly 90 minutes for police to arrive.
“I’ve never had an accident. Someone runs a red light and I can’t stop, it happens. First snow. Big trucks,” De’Oliveira added.
Mass Pike sees its fair share of backup, accident and first responders racing to help in either direction. Boston 25 News interviewed the driver at a rest stop along the highway.
Luke Hartley of Virginia stopped by on his way to visit his in-laws in Princeton, New Jersey. The speed limit on Mass Pike between the New York state border and mile marker 21 is 40 mph, Mass DOT officials said. The state deployed approximately 500 pieces of equipment throughout the federal storm operation. The Massachusetts State Police restricts the use of professionally licensed tractor-trailers and tandem trailers on Interstate 90 between New York State and the 55 mile marker.
“It was a bit slick, and it seemed like some people weren’t as careful as they needed to be, causing some fenders and some fender flex, which looked fine.”
Julien Strong of Hamden, Connecticut, came off the freeway to check his tire pressure. “It was a bit slippery and I pulled over because my low pressure light came on and filled up the tires. I grew up in Boston so I’m used to driving in the snow.”
With less than two inches of snow falling in Worcester, 35 DPW crews worked overnight loading rock salt.
DPW Deputy Commissioner Coyle added: “We left early in the storm to minimize any issues you know with road traffic, accident share, whatever.”
Asked by the Boston 25 News whether failure to prep the roads could lead to accidents, Deputy Commissioner Coyle responded, “It’s hard to tell how quickly the roads are icing. The first quarter inch is slick, the volume of traffic Big.”
According to Coyle, the city typically consumes 16,000 tons of rock salt in a year. Prices will rise about 20 percent by 2022, he said. For comparison, the cost of adding a ton of rock salt to the City of Worcester in 2021 is $62.00 per ton, compared to $75.00 per ton this year.
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